It was back in 2010 that Suresh Raina made his Test debut, and it was a memorable one. The left-hander smashed 120 in the match. The innings helped India draw the match against an in-form Sri Lanka side. But in a recent interview, Raina revealed that he was not supposed to play that match. He went on to reveal that before the match Yuvraj Singh fell sick, and Raina was roped in.
“Just before my Test debut, he (Yuvraj Singh) called me in the night around 12:30 or 1 clock at night. He said ‘Suresh, I am not able to sleep, I think I may have a stomach bug or something. You should be ready’. Generally, no one says like this, they usually think we will see how things go in the morning. He was so generous and kind to me to tell me that I should be ready," Raina told Gaurav Kapur on his ’22 Yarns with Gaurav Kapur’ podcast uploaded on Spotify.
“I could not sleep the entire night - thinking I might make my debut the next day, how will I go about it. It has not been discussed in the team meeting. I am not prepared. I don’t even know if I will make debut or not," he added.
“Luckily, we lost the toss and were asked to field. We had to field for full two days with Sangakkara and Jayawardene scoring big. Then, after drinking a few coconut waters, I went on to bat," he further said.
“After I scored a hundred, Yuvi paa came up to me and he hugged me. ‘This is you, well done, I am so happy for you,’ he said to me.
“It was such a good environment at that time. Senior players, taking care of me, looking after me like a younger brother. Looking after you if there is a controversy, they would protect you from the media. They would look after you mentally and give you space where you can perform and express yourself," Raina signed off.